Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Legend of the Great Steam Punkin

Lurking in a room that can only be reached by traveling down a dark and narrow crooked street, rumor suggests a party has been planned to watch for the elusive Great Steampunkin.  After giving the secret knock on the door, party goers enter to find a table filled with gears, clocks, keys and a delicious assortment of strange delicacies. Here perhaps they will finally learn the truth...does the Great Steampunkin exist?

Anders Ruff was kind enough to make our amazing printables here! We were
so excited how well they fit with our Steam Punkin theme! You can find these and a lot of other awesome Halloween ideas. 

Of course GreatStitch is always going to have a place in our parties! We couldn't resist making an insert for this old wooden record player we found. We thought it fit the part so well! It originally had a pink yucky fabric in it. This is a much better option!  My creative daughter Rhonda just pulled the other one off and put this one on a cardboard and replaced it!

The favors for this party are really fun! We took goggles and painted them with the same spray paint that we painted on our pumpkin. These were "beer goggles" that found a new home. We thought they would fit the little gourd pumpkins perfectly and we had the favors for kids to create their own steam pumpkin. We included some of the Tim Holtz gears we found at JoAnns and a ribbon. That way kids can have their very own Steam Punkin. And we found the lightbulbs in the Christmas ornament section of Michael's.

I found this light from a craigslist ad! This girl makes amazing industrial lights! They were the addition we needed. Thank you Christy Calhoun for making it special for our party!

I am always trying to make banners look different and I had some lace sitting around so I sewed the paper straight on to the lace and hung it. 

This is the old record player I was speaking of. The insides are still there! It is such a fun old piece. We just couldn't resist leaving the finish just as we found it in an old barn at an estate sale!

Is any party complete without Macarons? They are one of my favorites. Gesine Bullock Prado has put out one of my all time favorite cookbooks. That is saying a lot since I collect them. It is called Sugar Baby and is quite an education. I have cooked my way about half way through the book (then I got on my bike!). She has a wonderful Macaron recipe in there that can be varied easily. 

It's apple season so we have to include apples. I will be sharing our pastry cream recipe that a chef shared with me in culinary school. It is the base of almost anything pudding related. We paired that with some apples and topped it with a butterscotch sauce. 

Wilton has an awesome chocolate mold that looks like gears! It made these so simple! Then Michaels has metallic FOOD spray paint! Now that is some fun stuff right there! Super easy DIY!

For the back drop we had some old magazine pages printed off with clip art. Then we mounted all three on the same fabric we used in the record player. We also spray painted the frame to be like the pumpkin. 

I was in a bit of a panic because I wanted Claire to have some gloves. I went to Party City and they had some icky fish net ones. I used them and tacked a little lace over it. I didn't sew it completely on because I wanted to give her room to get it on. We tied it all down with a fabric strip that we used in her skirt. 

GreatStitch made the outfits. You can find just the shirt here for boys or girls, and the whole outfit here

For our pumpkin, we went to JoAnns and got one of the carvable pumpkins and used metallic spray pain on it from Home Depot. None of these companies pay me or give me freebies, I am just telling you where I got things so you don't have to search far and wide! We used the Tim Holtz things again on the face of the pumpkin. 

Whatever way you choose to celebrate, if you are sincere enough (and have a little help from spray paint) the great SteamPunkin may make a visit to your party! 

The Good Stuff
Party Styling: Brenda and Rhonda Byers
Party Printables: Anders Ruff
Photography: Gypsy Canon
Steam Punk Light: Lamp Stand Couture
Party Clothes: Greatstitch
Straws: Pick Your Plum
Light Bulbs: Michaels
Pumpkin: JoAnns
Antiques and collectables: River City Trading Post

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Slugger Sleepover

The crack of the bat
The roar of the crowd
The ball sailing over the fence

A little boy's dreams often turn to heroics on the baseball field.  The American pastime still holds a special place in the hearts of young and old alike...but especially for little boys.  For a couple of baseball-dreaming best friends, a "Slugger Sleepover" made the perfect theme for a fifth birthday party.

GreatStitch did all the monogramming and PJ pants. One thing we're learned is that sleepovers go so much better with a theme--it just seems to keep everything on track. Starting with the moment they come in and change into their baseball PJ/uniforms, it sets the pace for them to be together as a team.

Who doesn't love a good cake pop? Autumn Lynns Chocolate Sins made some special just for this party. They were lemon on the yummy!

Gypsy Canon took the fun photos of this event. She has a way of capturing the details that make me want to eat everything in the photo! The pancake cake we made using a big cookie cutter (a jar lid actually) on the pancakes after they were cooked. Then we layered peanut butter and pancakes.

Forever Your Prints was kind enough to ask us to do a baseball party and we loved the idea! The printables for this party are all from them, and they are adorable! We used drink wraps, a birthday banner, a welcome sign, thank you tags, cupcake wrappers and number squares.

SomeMoBracelets has some really awesome ideas for bracelets! I loved that these look and feel like a baseball! The boys loved them too! 

We found a tent (cringe...did I just use that word?) Yes, awesome tent...I said it! Embark has a really kewl tent system where you can actually put it together in about 5 minutes. What better way to have a backyard sleep over than a tent that goes together quickly! Maybe you've done these kinds of tents before, but the old clanky pole system has made me walk away from tents. But as life often has teaching moments, we needed a tent, so I tried it! I really do. I didn't have to read or look at the very easy!

The boys loved their name on their own bat to take home. Mike at Precision Engraving has figured out a way to do it on round bats! The boys and I loved them! I see so many birthday and Christmas gifts coming his way! He has knives and yoyos, cards name it...this quality engraving is a really fun gift!

Promise Pretzels has made us baseball pretzels. The ball was a marshmallow...we thought it was really clever, and can you ever go wrong with a chocolate covered pretzel? My dad always talks about a black diamond watermelon. When I tasted it again for this party, it is so different from a regular watermelon! The local farmers market in Broken Arrow is where we find ours...fresh is always best!

It's bittersweet to see kids grow up. They have their challenges with every age, but along with those challenges come some really fun days. We were so thrilled to be part of this day with our buddy Jack. He and his bestie took some awesome pictures for us!

The Good Stuff

Party Styling: Brenda and Rhonda Byers
Photography: Gypsy Canon
Baseball Bracelets: SomeMoBracelets
Party Printables: Forever Your Prints
Personalized Bat: Precision Engraving
Pretzel Baseball Bats: Promise Pretzels
Baseball Cake: Reasors 
Cake Stand: Clay-a-gogo

Friday, August 22, 2014

Summer Give-away

The end of summer is here...We are having a one last blast give-away. Join us! We think it will be worth your while to check out all the lovely vendors and you might even win some cash!!

A giveaway like this would not be possible without the support of many bloggers and small businesses. They include Spaceships and Laser BeamsFantabulosity, Anders RuffCreative Juice CafeA Cup Full of SassCourtney's SweetsBarefootinBluejeansCreative Designs by ToniForever Your PrintsThe Organized Details, Mommy MomentBellaArtista InvitationsSomething Blu EventsFor the Love of FoodDesigned by Dawn NicoleDime Party DivaLife Mom WifeDebbie Donato, Party ConnoisseurJ'adore Lexie CoutureThe Lovebug CollectionMerry About TownTutus & Bowties EventsMaple Leaf MommyLifeovereasyNinja MommersA Mother ThingGreatStitchDownshiftingPROMarabousPlease Excuse My Craftermath...Printable Parties to GoJellyfish and Fitness Fashionista. And that's not all! For a full list of those who have participated in this giveaway, check out the Rafflecopter below!

Summer Blast $1000 Cash Giveaway

Monday, Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 11:59PM to Monday, September 15, 2014 at 11:59PM
Open Worldwide
Prize: One winner will receive $1000 USD payable via PayPal
Eligibility and Rules: This giveaway runs from Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 11:59PM to Monday, September 15 at 11:59PM. It is open to individuals over the age of the majority in their home country. The winner will be chosen randomly through the Rafflecopter form. It is the sole responsibility of the winner to report to and adhere to all laws in their respective country, which includes payments to any governing tax body. This giveaway is void in any country or territory where it is prohibited by law.
Claiming Prize: The prize will be sent via PayPal. The winner must have a PayPal account to receive it. The winner also must claim their prize within 48 hours of receiving notice via email. If you do not claim your prize within this time frame, your entry will be void and another winner will be drawn. Please ensure that  spaceshipsandlaserbeams [at] gmail [dot] com is on your "safe list."
Disclosure: This is a blogger-sponsored event that is in no way affiliated with PayPal, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or any other social media channel. If you have questions, email Stephanie at Spaceships and Laser Beams at spaceshipsandlaserbeams [at] gmail [dot] com.
Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter! None of the entries are mandatory but the more entries you do, the more chances you have to win! Running short on time? Come back as often as you like to finish the form and maximize your chances of winning the big prize.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Garden Masterpiece

My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece” 

― Claude Monet

Gypsy Canon Photography

To find a theme for my parents' 75th birthday party we started with the beautiful flowers and flourishing vegetable garden surrounding their house. The care and love they have for growing things is evident. But they have another more important "garden" they have cultivated through the years in the lives and hearts of so many people. More than twenty years ago at an age when many people are starting to think about the end of their careers, they left home and family and moved to the country of Albania shortly after communism fell. It was a dangerous time, but they went  because of the need. They helped work with orphans and started a church that will soon celebrate its twentieth anniversary. They gave up a comfortable life to help people in Albania. Now that they are retired, we decided on a garden party for family and friends to celebrate both birthdays and the theme of their life of service together. 

Gypsy Canon photography

I love reclaimed things. There are so many people doing so much these days with things that used to be trash. When we found the patio bench made from an old bed, it just seemed to fit with the way they have lived their lives...trying to help people create a new beginning. I have been wanting to try one of these benches for a long time and it never happened, so my sweet hubby bought one for me! I love the feel of home that it gives. We added the pillows and cushions to it.

Gypsy Canon Photography

Every birthday party must have cake! All Things Cake was very creative with my parents party. They are right on trend with this cake! I really love the flowers they hand made for it. They were so special to my parents and I was more than thrilled when they also came up with some gluten free cupcakes for us to enjoy. They have a certified gluten free kitchen now right here in Tulsa.

Gypsy Canon Photography

Red Door Treasures made us this custom potting bench. We were so happy to be able to meet them and find such an enchanting shop in down town Broken Arrow. Miss Cindy is one of the good guys! She helped us quickly and efficiently. We adore what they came up with and used it for our main dessert table. Gypsy Canon who just happens to be my daughter Rhonda Byers, painted all the furniture for this party. She is such a huge help in all these things we are doing! My hubby even gets in the act. I don't know how you can do these parties without help! 

GreatStitch made the pillows.

Our awesome backdrop roses were made from corrugated cardboard and came from the hip and happening rose store right here in Broken Arrow called Roses, Inc  They recently made these for a float and let us use them for our party. They have done a fantastic job at refurbishing a property in downtown Broken Arrow that houses their amazing rose selection and green house. They are responsible for all the lovely roses in the Rose District where our shop is located. Some days we just stroll down Main Street to smell the roses they have put out. We also got the rose lights we strung on the branch from them.  

We were able to use some really awesome local people this time and we were thrilled with the beautiful garden roses that Arrow Flowers and Gifts made us. She used ranunculus also, and they are some of my favorite flowers right now. I adore the way they bloom out. You might see peonies in there also which bring back some really great memories from my childhood. My parents had a beautiful flower garden with a lot of peonies in the center of it when I was growing up.

My sweet friend Kameela did this perfect garland. She went out of her way to get it to me in time and it fit our theme perfectly. Could the colors have been more perfect? Kameela has the cutest named business I have seen recently...Tutus and Bowties! Texas is on my list of places to go now because of her sweet friendship!

When I saw these pretzel carrots in the Oreo dirt, we had to have them for our party. I thought Promise Pretzels did a fabulous job on these! Everyone loved them!  Katie at The Pretty Party Shoppe sent us some awesome berry baskets that we used throughout the party and also sent other party supplies...straws, paper cups, bags, just lovely things that we were so thrilled with! We love to find new people and she has some really awesome things! 

We tried to put in meaningful things in the party--things that would help us remember really great moments of our past. One of the things I remember as kid was living in an old 4 story parsonage that had been moved to an apple orchard. Could there be a better place to grow up--now there's a story I will have to tell sometime! As old houses do, it needed work. I didn't use to be very good with a hammer (I have since learned!). So my job was to bring refreshments. Coke was the thing that gave them that little punch to finish the job. Now Coke that comes in a bottle is the perfect size, and to me it just tastes different. We found this Coke bottle opener and just couldn't resist putting it on our garden potting bench to remind us of some of the old times together in that apple orchard. 

Kara at Lillian Hope Designs has this sweet Garden Party Invitation that she was kind enough to help us with. And check out the awesome Kraft Paper envelopes at Party Prepaganda!! 

Gypsy Canon took our photos.

I adore this garden reminds me so much of my own kids and how they used to sit and read together. The story behind this it that one day my just barely 4 year old was reading to my 2 year old. Nether one could actually read at that point, so it was more like reciting Wynken, Blinken, and Nod which we read to them every night. As my daughter told my son what the words said, she was a little creative with how it went. Instead of, "Sailed off in a sea of Dew"...She inserted, "Mountain Dew."  They were sitting about like this. It has always reminded me of that special moment. And isn't that why we do these parties? To remind us of the special moments?

Mom's favorite cake happens to be pecan pie! So we made some little tart pies for her. 

And the chocolate covered bing cherries were for my dad!

These are my parents! Happy 75th Birthday Mom and Dad! 

In your parties, don't forget to include some things with your handwriting on them. Some of my most cherished things are recipes or birthday cards that I have saved where my loved ones wrote in their own hand writing. Every once in a while, don't worry about what people think and give them the gift of your writing. You can always tuck something into the scrapbook about the party. We were so pleased with the printables that my talented cousin, Amanda made for us! She is a full time graphics person at a magazine and I always love when she has time to help us! 

I love cookbooks. We found a new one that had these crustinis in it and thought it was perfect for this party. Thank you to my son and his fiance for coming and helping with the final arrangements...we so appreciate our family! 

My brother and his family live way out on the east coast and couldn't make it but they were kind enough to chip in and send this gigantic Edible Arrangements bouquet. It easily fed all of us and had plenty to take home to enjoy. They make an awesome basket! 

The Good Stuff!!

Party Styling: Brenda Byers, Rhonda Byers
Photography: Gypsy Canon
Adorable Cake and Gluten Free Cupcakes: All Things Cake
Party Supplies: Pretty Party Shoppe 
Envelopes for Invitations: Party Prepaganda
Monogramming and Embroidery, Pillows and Towels: GreatStitch
Potting Bench: Red Door Treasures
Corrugated Roses and Rose Lights: Roses, Inc.
Carrot Pretzels: PromisePretzels
Printables: Amanda Hathcoat